47 years ago - US President John Fitzgerald Kennedy assassinated!
47 years ago, WE THE PEOPLE of the US were SHOCKED by the ASSASSINATION of our President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
WHO told YOU about the assassination? WHAT were YOU doing? WHERE were YOU? HOW did you react? WHY?
I have very stark MEMORIES with INTENSE EMOTIONS of Friday, the 22nd of November 1963. I was in the stacks of the library at Wesley Theological Seminary, The American University, Washington, DC when someone came into the stacks quietly announcing, “The President has been shot in Dallas!” I rushed to a TV to watch the ongoing news reports. I heard Walter Cronkite announce the 1:33 pm CST death of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and saw the tearing-up which was so very MEANINGFUL!
Vice-President Lyndon Johnson was sworn into office – reassuring us of the orderly transition of governmental authority under our US Constitution. And then the very intense weekend and then the state funeral at St. Matthews Roman Catholic Cathedral in Washington on Monday, November 25. Do you remember that that day was John Kennedy, Jr.’s 3rd Birthday!
The images of the FUNERAL PROCESSION and the burial at ARLINGTON NATONAL CEMETERY are very sharp in my mind’s eye. YOURS TOO?
The evaluation of the Kennedy administration continues with numerous issues, including the Cuban Missile Crisis (did we avoid World War III?) and the Vietnam War (would JFK have expanded the war as LBJ did?)
I do KNOW that I am among those persons whose life was IMPACTED by President Kennedy’s INAUGURAL when he asserted that WE THE PEOPLE must consider, “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.” Wouldn’t it be healthy IF WE THE PEOPLE were to ask this question NOW again?! I think so. What do you think?
I heard a very interesting feature on Wisconsin Public Radio abou8t the preparations at Boston’s John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum which has created a new and special meaningful and inspiring website for the 50th Anniversary. JFK was elected President of the US on November 8, 1960, inaugurated US President on January 20, 1961 and assassinated on November 22, 1963. I have been thinking of a pilgrimage to Boston sometime during the 50th anniversary time.
I gained more information about the upcoming anniversary celebration at the Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum reading “50th Anniversary of the Kennedy Administration.” I suggest you take a look IF you want more information.
As we reflect on the tragic assassination of US President John Fitzgerald Kennedy TODAY, I do HOPE you will join me in asking as President Kennedy urged that we ask, “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.” Wouldn’t it be healthy IF WE THE PEOPLE were to ask this question NOW again?! I think so. Do you?
Here we go…
John Eyster lives in the Edgerton area. He is an adjunct professor of political science at UW-Waukesha and an advocate for democracy/civics education in Wisconsin high schools. John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff. His opinion is not necessarily that of the The Gazette staff or management.